(b Feodosiya [now Kaffa], 29 July 1817; d Feodosiya, 2 June 1900).
Russian painter of Armenian descent. The son of an Armenian
merchant, throughout his life he kept his links with the ancient
traditions of Armenian Christian culture. He studied at the Academy
of Arts, St Petersburg, in 1833–7 under Maksim Vorob’yov
(1787–1855), a prominent Russian landscape painter of the Romantic
period. From 1845 Ayvazovsky worked predominantly in Feodosiya, an
ancient city in the Eastern Crimea. He travelled widely in Russia
and Europe, the Near East, Africa and America. Ayvazovsky’s first
significant paintings testify to his attentive assimilation of the
canons of Romantic seascape painting, going back to Claude Lorrain,
as well as the influence of Vorob’yov and the late works of
Sil’vestr Shchedrin. In Ayvazovsky’s early works the accurate
rendering of views is combined with a classicist rationality of
composition, as in View of the Seashore in the Environs of St
Petersburg (1835; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.).
Ship in the Stormy Sea
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